Recipe: Spiced Apple & Carrot Muffins

Breakfast muffin logo

We have lots of very small home-grown (not by us sadly) eating apples to work our way through at the moment – some are too bruised to store for long, so I am trying to incorporate them in my baking to get them used up quickly. This recipe makes a brilliant healthy breakfast or snack (although for snack purposes I would probably make them a little smaller), with only a small amount of added sugar per muffin – and it uses 3 of my little apples! I’ve added pumpkin seeds, sultanas and a little hemp powder to give extra nutritional value, but you can add your own favourite flavourings (chia seeds, sunflower seeds, nuts, fresh berries or alternative dried fruits) and you can leave out the hemp powder altogether if you don’t have it.

I made 6 large muffins with this recipe and didn’t have big enough muffin cases available. In case you have the same problem, I wanted to  share something I learned last week. Have you ever wondered how to make those fab and trendy baking parchment muffin cases? Yep, so have I… a quick Google revealed the answer… and here’s my little step by step picture guide:

Making muffin cases

Step 1: Find a jar that fits pretty neatly in the muffin tray you are using.

Step 2: Cut pieces of baking parchment 6″ square and then cover and squish it round the jar.

Step 3: Pop the baking parchment in the muffin tray and fan out the top a little bit to create a cup shape .

Step 4: Repeat, and if you like, you a trim off any really pointy bits.

Step 5: Wonder why you ever thought this was really difficult.


Carrot and Apple Breakfast Muffins

  • Servings: 6 large muffins or 9 standard-sized
  • Print


  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and grated fine (you need about 100g)
  • 1 medium dessert apple, cored, peeled and grated (75g minimum, but don’t worry if you have a bit more)
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 25g pumpkin seeds, plus a few for sprinkling
  • 60g sultanas
  • 50g soft light brown sugar
  • 75ml oil of your choice (e.g coconut oil, mild olive oil)
  • 2 eggs
  • 100g plain wholemeal flour (120g if you don’t add the hemp powder, and you can use white flour if you prefer it)
  • 20g hemp protein powder – optional (I use That Protein Happy Hemp with Baobab)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)


  • Prepare your muffin tray with cases or baking parchment creations and preheat oven to 180C (160C fan), Gas Mark 4.
  • Pop the grated carrot and apple in a large bowl and add the spice, lemon zest, pumpkin seeds, sugar, oil and eggs. Beat these together thoroughly with a fork until well combined. This is important because a light muffin depends on minimal stirring at the next stage.
  • Sieve the flour, hemp powder (if using), baking powder and bicarb into the other ingredients. The sieving is important – don’t skip it or you will have stodgy muffins (oo-er).
  • Use a wooden spoon and stir gently until just combined. My rule of thumb is to stir very carefully until the moment I can’t see any dry flour any more. Lumps aren’t a problem.
  • Spoon the mix into the muffin cases – for the larger version, I got 4-5 heaped teaspoons of mixture into each case. Sprinkle the tops with extra pumpkin seeds (flaked almonds or rolled oats are also good options here!).
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes (you may need a minute or two more for the larger version) until the muffins are firm to the touch, then take out of the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool.
The muffins freeze very well. If you want to eat them for breakfast, take them out of the freezer the night before and store overnight in a sealed container, then briefly warm them through in a hot oven or give them a quick blast in the microwave in the morning, just before you want to eat them. They will taste freshly-baked and brighten your breakfast, I promise.
Muffin and a cuppa
Delicious with a cuppa!
For more recipes do visit my directory of Very Berry recipes.


6 thoughts on “Recipe: Spiced Apple & Carrot Muffins

  1. Hello Ali, The recipe sounds absolutely delicious and I love all the tips you have included – especially the freezing bit – definitely my way of cooking / feeding the family! Thank you very much for sharing. I always enjoy reading your blog and have learnt lots from you. Just in case you are thinking of growing an apple tree: I received one as a birthday present 3-4 years ago. It has grown very well and not tall and has been very prolific this year. It’s called “Saturn” – a crisp and delicious eating apple.

      1. Love the recipe Ali – thank you. They were delicious with a cup of tea. I like the idea of the handmade muffin cases but did find them tricky to fill. My daughter came up with the idea of putting a teaspoon on mixture in first – which seemed to weigh it down a bit. (Steady it – would have been a better think to say. ) and then it was easier to fill it. Lovely though. I used up a few of the tiny carrots we’ve just dug up and a windfall apple. Just the others to do something with now. (Birds pinched the pears. Cheeky things. First pear harvest and they got there first.)

      2. Hi Julia – lovely to hear from you. Really glad you enjoyed the muffins! I employed the same technique, and also fanned the cases out a bit when I popped them in the muffin tray. It’s not easy, I admit! Birds are such terrors – they had most of our loganberries this year! And we wont talk about the squirrels eating my strawberries…!

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